According to the National Safety Council (NSC), approximately 500 preventable or accidental gun-related deaths occur annually. Several deaths occurred due to gun negligence or failure to take proper care or safety precautions. In Kanas and Missouri, any party whose negligence resulted in a fatality may be held liable in a wrongful death claim.
First, let’s define wrongful death: Wrongful death is the loss of life resulting from an improper act caused by another person. In Kansas and Missouri, a family may pursue criminal and civil charges against the individual at fault to regain compensation for their losses. In Kansas, the statute of limitations to pursue a wrongful death claim is two years; in Missouri, it is three years.
Here are some examples of gun negligence that can result in a wrongful death claim:
- Failure to Secure Firearms: Properly securing and storing a firearm can lead to tragic consequences. An example is leaving a loaded gun in your home, vehicle, and storage. Failure to do so gives access to all unauthorized users, including children. This also includes failure to install proper safety mechanisms, such as trigger locks on all stored firearms.
- Failure to follow Basic Gun Safety Rules: This includes pointing a gun away from individuals, keeping your fingers off the trigger until ready to shoot, or failing to check the chamber to ensure it is unloaded before cleaning or handling. This can lead to a negligent discharge which can cause a wrongful death. Individuals handling a firearm must be properly trained to maintain it and in gun safety.
- Distributing or selling firearms to individuals not legally allowed to possess them, including minors or individuals with criminal records. If using those firearms results in a wrongful death, the individual who sold the gun can be held liable.
If you have suffered the loss of a loved one as the result of gun negligence and you have questions about filing a wrongful death claim, you need to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Contact The Law Offices of Reginald Keith Davis to schedule your confidential consultation.
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